How often do we even think about lung health? I mean, you’re here because you’re interested in hormones right? (Me too. Lucky that!)
And typically I may take a foray into other closely-related territories like gut, digestion and the microbiome, liver and oestrogen detoxification and immune support.
But in our current situation where there’s been lots of immune talk (which I fully support), I realised I have never really given much attention to one of our most important organs – the giver of life, breath, purification, grounding and release on both a physical and metaphysical level – the lungs.
So as well as keeping your distance physically (please remember to keep up your social connections via phone and video), washing your hands correctly and taking it easy on the toilet-paper stashing (I STILL haven’t been able to buy any), check out the tips below and let me know how you’re doing on the lung love ‘o metre …
6 Tips To Loving Your Lungs:
- Minimise your mouth and know your nose—Are you a mouth breather? Mouth breathing can lower lung function and increase your susceptibility to allergies and upper respiratory problems. Also, a fabulous personal trainer taught me that nose-breathing increases oxygenation, slows breathing and improves overall lung-capacity (I may not have kept up the workouts 🙁 but I’ve never forgotten the breathing tip 🙂 )
Tip: Learn how to breathe through your nose. Check out Buteyko breathing.
- Perfect your posture—Slouching compresses your lungs, lowering the amount of air you breathe. This is known as ‘shallow breathing’ which basically means you’re not oxygenating your body to its full capacity and your lungs are left lounging on the couch instead of getting their full work-out. Exercise physiologists and personal trainers, strength and conditioning trainers, singers, yoga and pilates peeps, meditators and breath-workers know about its importance, so look to these modalities to help improve your postural breathing. Or consider an osteopath or chiropractor to help with postural alignment.
Tip: Work on core strength and diaphragmatic breathing to perfect your posture.
- Up the water intake—Drinking water not only hydrates our cells but flushes toxins from our system and thins mucous build-up from our airways and lungs. When we are dehydrated, we increase the chance of a thicker mucous build-up which decreases our ability to breathe and makes us more susceptible to respiratory infection.
Tip: Drink water! Filtered, purified, fizzy, tap if that’s all that’s at hand, just get your hydration up. Add sliced lemon, lime or mint; Soda Stream-it (without the fake flavourings) as fizz is way more fun; drink hot or warm herbal teas; use citrus or herb-frozen ice-cubes; or carry a glass or toxin/BPA-free water bottle with you to sip on throughout the day.
- Antioxidants and Probiotics—Environmental toxins from smoke, air pollution and synthetic chemicals cause oxidative stress on your body which can damage your body’s cells, particularly those in the lungs which are filtering continuously.
Tip: Support your body with anti-oxidant foods like berries and brightly coloured veggies and fruits. Look to supplements containing therapeutic doses of Vitamin A, C, E, quercetin, resveratrol, glutathione and n-acetyl cysteine (a super lung-supporter). And a good-quality, non-histamine-producing probiotic can also support your overall immune health. Contact me for advice on the best anti-oxidant and pro-biotic support for you. 10-min and 25-min consults are available for current clients to review your supplement regime at this time, else book in for an Initial Consult for a review of your overall health.
- Moderate exercise—Around 20-45 minutes of exercise at about 60% intensity may lower your risk of upper respiratory infection by around 50%. But more is not always better. Over-training increases oxidative stress and cortisol and may suppress your immune system.
Tip: Moderate exercise a few times a week is ideal. If you are in lockdown, there are a plethora of online options available. Check out Centr (with an added bonus of the Hemsworth factor) and grab their 6-week free trial while you can. Same-same with ph360 (and access their free ‘Strengthen Your Immune System’ program, sans Hemsworth).
- Purify your home—And what better time than when most of us are spending a lot more time here. Go full Kondo on your kitchen, laundry and bathroom and replace the chemical-laden cleaning products for natural options. If you can afford it, consider a building biologist to check for moulds or do what I’ve just done and invest in an Air Purifier to keep your lungs happy as Larry.
Tip: Nourished Life is a good place to start for chemical-free products. For bigger options, get creative. A gorgeous gal-pal of mine went halves on my new air purifier as a birthday gift. Or if budget is super-tight, look to things like credit card or airline/frequent-flier points and take advantage of points-discounts now your flight-wings are clipped.
Have you any further tips? I’d love to hear them! Better yet, share them with me and your new besties in the FB group x